Research by Dalane W. Kitzman, M.D., professor of cardiology at Wake Forest Baptist
Medical Center, has found that diet and exercise can help relieve the main
symptoms of a rapidly increasing form of heart failure.
is published in the current issue of the Journal
of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFPEF) is a recently recognized disease
that reflects how the left ventricle of the heart pumps with each beat. Its
primary symptoms are shortness of breath and fatigue from
occurs primarily in older women, and more than 80 percent of patients are
overweight or obese. It is the dominant form of heart failure and the most
rapidly increasing cardiovascular disorder in this country. There is no
medication that has been proven effective in treating HFPEF, which is
associated with elevated rates of illness and death and high medical
20-week study of 100 obese older patients found that their exercise capacity
increased significantly with both reduced caloric intake and aerobic exercise
training, and that the combination of diet and exercise produced even greater
improvement. These measures also correlated with weight loss of up to 10
findings may help to broaden our view of HFPEF as a ‘whole body’ disorder, not
one that involves only the heart,” Kitzman said. “Such an approach could open
pathways to new treatments.”
This study was supported by research grants R01AG18915, P30AG021332, R01HL093713, and R01AG020583 from the National Institutes of Health. Also supported in part by the Kermit Glenn Phillips II Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine and the Mortiz Chair in Geriatric Nursing Research in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at The University of Texas at Arlington.
Co-authors of the study are: Peter Brubaker, Ph.D., Timothy Morgan, Ph.D., Gregory Hundley, M.D., Barbara J. Nicklas, Ph.D., of Wake Forest Baptist; William E. Kraus, M.D., of Duke University School of Medicine; Joel Eggebeen, M.S., of Emory University School of Medicine; and Mark Haykowsky, Ph.D., of University of Texas at Arlington.